What are the chances you’re an aspiring country music artist and you get called up on stage at Keith Urban’s sold out Sunday night concert in Calgary?
The odds were pretty good for Okotoks country music artist, Michela Sheedy.
The 23-year-old and her family have been mega-fans of the Kiwi country music singer, having been ticketholders at his shows in the city since 2005.
“We kind of know the general gist of what Keith does during his shows,” Sheedy told LiveWire Calgary Monday afternoon.
“He usually takes a moment to appreciate the crowd and read the signs that people have brought for him.”
Sheedy was near the front with her sister and parents and she had a sign with the message, “Will Trade Sister for chance to sing with Keith Urban” scrawled on it. Her sister had a sign that said, “Take me on it.”
Urban pulled Sheedy up to the stage first, then her sister and then her mom, before going acapella with Urban. She got to riff with Urban on a song she’d long envisioned singing with him. She remembers running through the lyrics in her head, hoping she didn’t mess them up.
“It was totally unexpected. It was a very lucky moment for us that he chose us as the ones to go up there,” she said.
“It was really crazy to stand up there beside one of your idols and look out into that huge sea of people and they’re all just cheering for you. It was incredible, I was shaking in my boots.”
(VIDEO FROM FACEBOOK WITH PERMISSION)
Sheedy is a full-time country music artist, and also a full-time Mount Royal student working on finishing up her degree in Public Relations. She also pulls the occasional shift on the radio for 99.7 Sun Country radio in High River and is the back-up anthem singer for the Calgary Flames.
She’s been singing ever since she could talk and got her start playing at fairs and farmer’s markets around southern Alberta when she was 12. Sheedy said over the past five years she’s dove head first into the Alberta country music scene.
Now she’s performing on much bigger stages, having played at the Big Valley Jamboree and Country Thunder and also on the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede. Sheedy’s also made appearances at the Canadian Country Music Awards in London, Saskatoon and Hamilton.
“Of course, moments like this, being pulled up on stage by one of your favourite artists is incredible and borderline life-changing for you,” she said.
“But I think what’s important is that the focus is on how hard local artists are working to develop their careers and their craft.”
Sheedy understands this is a “lucky moment.” She understands the spotlight is on her for the moment. She wants to make sure she uses it as an opportunity to turn that spotlight to highlight the local musical talent in Alberta.
“I do think it’s my responsibility to use this platform to celebrate not only my milestones and success, but the success of my peers,” she said.
And she said that despite her big moment with Urban, she wants to attract fans “honestly” and hopes that they appreciate her music, not just for the social media spectacle her video has caused.
Sheedy has an upcoming show this Thursday at Knoxvilles as part of a development series that has 12 artists compete for a $100,000 prize. They also have access to a variety of music training and education as a part of the competition.
For more information Michela, visit her Facebook page.